Hello folks, I hope you're enjoying the weather this weekend. I don't want to rain on anyone's chips, but if a couple of minutes in the sunshine are very possibly the best we're going to get to smile about this year, we'd best enjoy it before it's all gone. I've been rooting through old albums from holidays long past - nostalgia for what was, and what might never be again.
This is going to be a quick post as the garden beckons - the sun is shining and i'm off to sit under a parasol and sip a Becks Blue shandy with hubby and Wilfred. The bees are buzzing around and I caught an opportunistic picture of one rampaging through the sweet peas with pollen smeared all over it's bottom.
Last week I was playing with a moonstone from my Jaipur stash and had just finished attaching it to a necklace blank with a beaded bezel - I had no real idea where I was going with it until I saw this picture of the Keukenhof gardens, just outside Amsterdam that I visited many years ago - possibly in 1984! It was my first trip into Europe on a tour bus and the Keukenhof gardens were impossibly beautiful. I'd love to go there again, but it is just open to the public for about eight weeks in the Tulip season between the end of March and mid May. It's still a bit chilly at that time and although I plan to go back, every time we think about booking a pre summer holiday, it seems too much of a chore to pack all our winter gear and stout walking shoes/wellies (there are 32 hectares of garden so even a short walk is very long) to go on holiday when we can be as warm as a piece of pie, right here at home.
I decided that I would sew colour blocks of 'flowers' around the central moonstone which would represent the body of water in the picture above. There are plenty of water features in the Keukenhof with lakes and ponds and canals galore and although the gardens are shut at night, I imagined what they must look like on a moonlit night. Here's the necklace right up to where I stopped last night.
That's all I have for you this week, good people. Have a lovely weekend, wear your masks when you meet people, and stay safe. It isn't over yet, not by a long chalk.
See you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for dropping by, it's always a pleasure to be with you. After I finished Woodland Fantasy I felt as if I would never have another idea again in my life, and that I had poured all my creativity, every last ounce of it, into that beauty. I know better than to push it, though and I played it cool, whiling away the hiatus by making little earrings until something came to me - and I'm happy to report that this week, I've had a germ of an idea. I opened the box of stuff I bought in Jaipur a couple of years ago and a moonstone seemed to jump out at me. 'Use me, use me,' it cried. How could I be rude and leave that sliver of moonglow behind?
I covered a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff with dark velvet and attached the cabochon to it with a silvery beaded bezel, and that's as far as I got this week. I've got the vaguest of ideas about how I will proceed, but Paisley figures high on the list. I'm still enthralled by Japanese Beading, and I guess I shall be using those techniques as well. Other than that, I haven't a clue what's going to happen and that's half the fun of it, watching a piece evolve as if by magic.
I was asked last week after I made a bug in response to Nicole Hanna's Finish It Challenge what her piece looked like - well, I feel quite embarrassed to show you Nicole's piece, but Hey! She's a master at the art and I spent two evenings on a highly masochistic exercise just to get the tutorial, so I will show it to you. Feel free to have a good laugh!
I saw this ad and decided to investigate as Adrian Hall, the chap who curates the exhibits was asking for local artists to display their pieces at the Temperance Cafe. I sent in a picture of Woodland Fantasy and was gratified when he accepted it almost immediately. I dropped it off in Leamington Spa today after work and it goes on show with the other exhibits tomorrow.
I'm always on the lookout for ways to showcase Caprilicious and this works well for me. The Cafe opens tomorrow with this exhibition and a number of artists were dropping their pieces off as well. There is going to be a friends and family showing on Sunday from 3pm and if I'm not doing anything else, I might go to it.
The Temperance Cafe is a community cafe, art gallery and event space in the heart of the old town of Leamington Spa. It was built in the early nineteenth century and has been restored into a cosy place where they serve food from local suppliers during the day and have jazz evenings, show films and live performances from the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet. They have regular poetry, story-telling, theatre and comedy nights. At least twice a week, they have live music from local and visiting musicians. All this in such a tiny space. Oh, I mustn't forget the art gallery and vintage items they sell. Altogether a little gem of a place, and the reviews on Trip Advisor are excellent. The cafe is not too far away from the centre of town and Mike found it last year when I was showing at the Museum and Art Gallery.
While I waited for inspiration to strike like a thunderbolt my fingers couldn't sit still. I wove a little strip using seed beads and attached freshwater pearls to it. Hung from a leather cord with pearls knotted into it, this one isn't going to excite your grandmothers, but it sure is different. Pearls and leather aren't meant to go together, but somehow they do in a very edgy manner. Very biker chic, and lots of fun. It's only a little square pendant, about and inch and a half wide, but it packs a visual punch.
My garden is looking pretty, and all the flowers have come out to smile at us having benefited from the time spent on them during the pandemic. At least someone's happy! Fortunately the weather hasn't been half bad so we've been able to enjoy the fruits of our labours.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello people, how are you? I don't know how and when this is all going to end, but it's doing my head in. It's no fun going in to work any more and the whole mask wearing, social distancing, non friend seeing, non travelling to different places kinda life is beginning to annoy the hell out of me! There, rant over, and I'm sure you're all feeling the same, so who am I to complain? It's not like it's only me affected by all the craziness going on in the world. At least I'm able to go out and about, there are people who can't/don't and I'm sure it is much harder for them than it is for the likes of me.
Here's a song that has invaded my head since I heard it on the radio - just sharing my ear worm, I'm that kind of a person. Share and share alike, I say.
The garden has been my solace and my plants are returning the love and attention they have received by flowering for me most obligingly. When I moved into my first house, it was a new build, with no garden at all apart from what I put in it. I had no clue, and soon grew plants that refused to flower because they had too little sunlight, or fried to a crisp from too much sun. In despair I went on a RHS course and finally understood what I was doing wrong and put in a load of plants in places where they would flower - just as it was looking nice, we moved!
As this one was an older property, I was hoping that the owners would have put some plants in but no, what they had was brick paving all around the house so that all their children could park their cars - it looked like the front of Crossroads Motel! We dug out some of the paving, filled the area in with compost and planted away to our heart's content - but that wasn't enough, so we brought in the pots - we ended up with over 150 pots all around the house and the garden now is mainly in containers.
In summer, my jewellery becomes more and more floral and that's obviously the influence of my surroundings. This week, I put together some earrings with dried rose buds dipped in resin that preserves them for posterity. I call them my Potpourri earrings.
What you cannot tell from these photographs is the beautiful sheen the resin adds to the dried roses. The gold tone studs are my favourites, as they sit close to the ear and are large - just over the size of a 50p piece and extremely stylish.
S&M and FOMO
Nicole Hanna posts a 'Finish It' Challenge on her Blog twice a year. She posts the first few steps of a tutorial for a piece of wire woven jewellery and gets the people who attempt the challenge to finish the piece with the specified materials - no variations allowed. The finished articles are all in an album on Pinterest for viewers to vote - I never bother with the voting as everyone's a winner in my opinion, as she sends all the entrants the finished tutorial, and that's what I want. Some extremely talented masochists attempt the challenge and the designs are fantastical, sometimes even Nicole is stunned. If you want to look at the entries click here.
The contest ended at midnight last night, and I only began to weave my piece the night before - this one was hard, folks - I must've been mad to keep going. She started out with six wires, and that was fine, and then suddenly, wham! the sadistic woman hit us with four more. Weaving with ten base wires is not my idea of fun, but I'd started, so I'd continue, besides, I couldn't miss out on that tutorial now, could I?? The picture shows where she ended her instructions - and that is where I should have called it as a bad job. After all, I don't want to weave anything ever again with ten base wires - do I? Humph!!
'Now what?' I asked out loud, as I scratched my head with the half finished wire thing I had just created. 'I dunno,' said the muse, 'geroff, go to bed, and don't bother me anymore.'
So the next evening, I picked it up again, with that heartsink feeling (but I wanted the tutorial!) and kept on going until I had something that resembled a finished piece, ending with a pain deep in my right hand from holding those wires steady, that still hasn't gone away. No wonder my piece is terrible! It came out looking like a bug - my garden has certainly invaded my head. I quickly took a picture with my phone and sent it in just in time, and will be rewarded (punished) for my efforts shortly with the tutorial which will be an instrument of torture for many years to come.
There are some very pretty designs on that page, although there are a couple of critters - a spider and an octopus as well as my bug. I'm sure those people had the same idea as me! All they wanted was the tutorial. There is a frog and a peacock, and there is a beautiful bulls head with horns and all - I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to turn this tutorial into that piece, but it sure took her longer than the two evenings I gave myself through procrastination.
I spent all Sunday on Facebook, showcasing earrings on The Earrings Show and sold quite a few pieces. The earrings went down a storm and I got some fabulous feedback. I posted out on Monday and a bunch of them got to Massachusetts in two days time - the couriers aren't busy, obviously. I love great feedback, it strokes the ego and stokes the Caprilicious fires - I feel like making more jewellery. The pandemic has been depressing as there has been a distinct lack of love - but who has the money? and if they did, where is there to wear new jewellery? It is now that there is a hope of the lockdown ending, and people are fed up of moping around the house in T shirts and jogger bottoms that they need some prettiness in their lives. Here's a shot of the feedback I received - heart warming stuff!
Anyways, that's me for this week, folks. My annual barbeque for my junior doctors stands cancelled this time round, as does the mini school reunion we have at this time every year. Ah, well, I'm sure we will do it next year, should we all survive.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello people, how are you this week? Rain has stopped play for most of us in the UK this week and we've all been stuck indoors - all except the greatest dog lovers and most intrepid runners who still pound the streets in the downpour. I stayed indoors when I wasn't at work and finished Woodland Fantasy, and I'm so pleased that I had the time to do it.
I took a photograph of one of the junior doctors being fitted for an operating hood - I've requested one for myself and when I was showing her the pictures I took, she scrolled onto a picture of the necklace which was actually a close up of the beading. She mistook the beaded flowers for real ones - what a compliment! Unless of course, she has poor eyesight - I don't know her well, so couldn't be sure. Anyway, she was most impressed when she realised that they weren't a close up of the flowers in my garden, and I was thrilled with the compliment.
'I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Midsummer Night's Dream, Oberon, Act 2 Scene 1
I read a bit of Shakespeare as a child in school and the language in the Merchant of Venice seemed so difficult to understand, that I thought our teacher was a genius when she translated it into modern English for us so effortlessly. Eventually, I knew most of the play by heart as chunks of it were handed out to us to learn when we were naughty - and I had many many occasions to be hauled up for one thing or another. I eventually read A Midsummer Night's Dream as an adult, and watched the play in Stratford where it was purportedly written. I was totally taken by the romance and mischief of the play and I've tried to make my necklace resonate with that idea. As soon as I had the slab of labradorite come through the post, I knew it would represent a body of water one day - it has been with me for over four years now and it only just called to me a few weeks ago with an idea of how to use it. I don't want to sound all fanciful and 'artisty' - but the ideas don't seem to come straight away, but if I just wait, something seems to click and a necklace happens.
By the way, 'eglantine' is a brier rose and the woodbine plant is a creeper, much like a honeysuckle. I can see Titania, lying by the labradorite pool amongst the flowers, little creatures flitting and scurrying about. There are water lilies, lily pads, and even a few cobwebs dripping with raindrops. Little Vintaj brass lizards and crystal scarab beetles, as well as a dragonfly chase each other, and Titania is sure to arrive any minute, the scene is set for her.
These photographs resolutely refuse to pick up the flashes of light coming from deep within the labradorite - I would have had to shine a light over it but that would have changed the quality of the rest of the picture. The necklace is meant to sit close to the base of the throat, and has a toggle clasp which allows for an extension of around two inches. The beads at the back are hand carved fluorite flowers in two colours, as if there aren't quite enough flowers in the necklace!
I am totally overawed by Woodland Fantasy and can hardly believe that it came from my fingers. Wow! I'm still getting used to it. If you'd like to read more about the process involved in making it, and see regular progress photographs, do take a look at previous blog posts, if you haven't already.
I'm still out in the garden every chance I get, although I don't like the rain too much. Hopefully the heat wave predicted for next week materialises and we can enjoy a few days in the sun.
That's me for this week folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello lovely people, I'm so glad we've survived just over 100 days of lockdown in one piece - now all we have to do is hold our collective breaths until a vaccine is available hopefully later on in the year, and we are home free. In the meantime, I plod on, sewing away industriously, trying out new techniques, and trying to make each of my necklaces different from the last one, and if possible, even more interesting and beautiful.
I spend a lot of time in my garden in the summertime and the flowers that bloom there tend to inspire me to make floral jewellery. My last big floral piece 'Hope Springs Eternal' got an "Honorable Mention" in the contest I entered it into; and a lot of you played a role in that, being kind enough to make the journey onto Facebook and vote for me. Thank you very much for that. However, I felt that Hope was the ultimate floral piece, with its lashings of Czech flower beads and froth of wisteria, and anything after it would either be a pale imitation or not be up to scratch.
I realised that I was trying to recreate in my necklace a flower bed with a mass of blooms, all higgledy piggledy, as if they had self seeded there and hadn't been planted by human hands. I prefer this to ordered rows of flowers, marching in twos and threes like crocodiles of schoolgirls, towards a central fountain - I find that sort of planting very pretentious, and akin to municipal gardens tended by fussy little old men. My gardens have no colour scheme - everything is allowed. It appeals to me, although purists may be shocked at my seemingly ill disciplined approach to flower beds.
A s I pondered about how I was going to achieve this effect, I came across Jessica Grimm, Dima Santina and Margaret Cobleigh. These ladies are American embroiderers who posted Japanese bead embroidery projects on their blogs - one look and I was hooked. I sent off for a book by an expert they all mentioned, Margaret Lee, and loved the flowers on the cover page. However, I just wanted the techniques, not to follow the projects to the letter. The next few photographs will take you through my daily progress with this necklace, which I have named Woodland Fantasy. The photographs are all taken with my phone - I'm thinking I need to take a few lessons on how to get the best from my phone as I'm using it more and more. I still like using my good DSLR camera for the final pictures, though.
At the end of Day 4 and midway into Day 5 I felt quite satisfied with the way my Woodland Fantasy was turning out, but there was still a niggling thought at the back of my mind - it lacked vibrancy, somehow and needed a vivid yellow to up the colour quotient - well, that's what I thought, and some of you might not agree with me. Also, if I had left well alone, it would have been closer to Margaret Lee's work than mine and of course, I couldn't allow that! So on went the bright yellow crystals, dotted here and there as if they were scattered there by an unseen hand, much like the way I throw Nigella and seeds into my flower beds so that the flowers pop up all over the place.
It rained most of the week, so beading was my major entertainment - and all while in splits of laughter as I binge watched Friday Night Dinner on Netflix. My husband thinks I'm crazy because I love silly comedy, but I'm unrepentant. I love Tamsin Greig and Mark Heap, they were so good in the Green Wing that I bought the boxed set, and Friday Night Dinner is very, very funny.
The week is almost over now, and I have yet to fill in the bare spots in the necklace with black beads and back, and edge it as well as find a way to hang it - it may be a while yet before I am finished with it. And here's a picture of Wilfred, bringing me a playmate - isn't he clever!! He certainly thought so!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello people, how are you? The sun is shining and the garden is blooming, but yet it's hard to enjoy this bounty when it has to be done in seclusion. I had a friend visit with me today after so many weeks now that restrictions are lifted a bit, and we sat out in the garden and had a good long natter, drinking shandies and sitting in the shade - that was so good. The garden is benefitting from the attention we are lavishing on it - everything is standing upright and there isn't a weed or a slug that hasn't been got rid of, never to be heard from again.
I've also been practicing my photography skills and the flowers have lent themselves to this task in the absence of other inspiration. I used to like to go and sit in busy places - train stations, city centres, pubs, and parks were favourites; and photograph the people there, going about their business not knowing that my beady eye is upon them.
I've agreed to do a virtual show of earrings at The Earring Show on Facebook and will be displaying my wares online on the 12th of July. Although I have loads of stock, I felt I should make at least one more new piece and came up with this pair of stud earring danglers. Initial response was quite enthusiastic so I hope they will be well received at the show. The beads are all imported from the Czech Republic and Japan.
These are two little brass Vintaj lizards I bought from an outlet in the USA and they are beautiful - their only problem is that there is no way to anchor them to a piece of jewellery apart from using glue. I don't generally use glue for this purpose as once the glue deteriorates the attachments come loose. I decided very early on in the game that my jewellery has to stand the test of time and so double sew all my beads, and sew a bezel around every cabochon so that the crystals, beads and cabochons are extra secure. I've had the lizards for almost five years now as I didn't know how I would use them.
My recent foray into beading has meant that I've been using this hole making tool, so I decided to give it a go. I've no idea what it is called, and if anyone does, please tell me in the comments.
As you can see, the lizards are pretty tiny and I approached the task very gingerly. I held my breath - and all of a sudden I had two usable little critters.
A large labradorite slab lay unused for many years. This is a very deceptive stone which at first look appears dull and grey - walk it into the light and suddenly it flashes fire with an inner iridescence that can be shocking if you're not expecting it. I tend to put a lot of colour around a labradorite so that the piece is colourful and interesting even when it isn't giving away its secret. I planned that the slab would represent a woodland pool, with little creatures around it - I added an enamelled dragonfly and a crystal scarab beetle and set to work making the pendant. Little lily pads were made individually and added to the edge of the 'pond', and three lotus flowers sewn onto one edge.
This piece had very little planning involved in its making - but even after I had put in a lot of the beadwork, I wasn't happy - I wanted more. I changed tack and turned the pendant sideways, and attached it to a collar devised from Lacy's Stiff Stuff, and now it is a focal point in a statement necklace.
Now what? The clue is in the name - Woodland Fantasy. I've just discovered Japanese seed beading and have sent off for Margaret Lee's fabulous book on these techniques. Japan is the home of the Miyuki and Toho seed beads and the embroidery techniques look like tapestry. I can't wait until the book arrives and I start again on my necklace. Until then, I shall have to find something else with which to occupy my hands.
That's me for this week, folks.
Before I sign off, if anyone can tell me why Wilfred the cat absolutely refuses to sleep in his new and lovely fluffy bed, preferring to sleep in a wooden tray on the dining table, I would be very interested in the answer. I just don't get it. I've sprayed it with catnip, and put morsels of of cat treats into it, but try as I might I had no luck, I even considered trying to curl up in it myself to set him an example. I ended up selling it on Facebook Marketplace this morning.
Have a wonderful week and I'll catch you next Friday,
Hey, hey, hey, good people, how are you doing out there? The weeks are passing us by, with one day merging into the next and I feel like I'm in freefall now. I'm almost longing for a bit of structure in my routine. My only constant has been Caprilicious and the clutch of beads on a tray in my lap of an evening. The garden carries on, regardless, and I've spent a lot of time working in it this year. I'm told that we aren't doing too well with the numbers of new Covid patients which is disappointing. So nothing is going to change anytime soon, then.
St. Elmo's Fire
I've spent many an enjoyable evening over the last couple of weeks adding beads to my latest necklace - I've called it St Elmo's Fire.
St. Elmo's fire is a weather phenomenon in which luminous plasma is created by a corona discharge from a sharp or pointed object in a strong electric field in the atmosphere (such as those generated by thunderstorms or created by a volcanic eruption).
It is named after St. Elmo, one of the two Italian names for St. Erasmus, the other being St. Erasmo), the patron saint of sailors. The phenomenon sometimes appeared at sea during thunderstorms and was regarded by sailors with religious awe for its glowing ball of light, accounting for the name. Sailors may have considered St. Elmo's fire as a good omen (as a sign of the presence of their patron saint).
St. Elmo's fire is a bright blue or violet glow, appearing like fire in some circumstances, from tall, sharply pointed structures such as masts, spires, and chimneys, and on aircraft wings or nose cones. St. Elmo's fire can also appear on leaves and grass, and even at the tips of cattle horns. Often accompanying the glow is a distinct hissing or buzzing sound.
I've told you last week about the beautiful cabochon that inspired me to make this piece and when you see the piece in its entirety, you will surely agree with me. There has been a bit of artistic licence taken with the flames but I'm sure you will forgive me for that. On one side is the night sky with stars sparkling in pools of light and on the other is the spectacle of flames shooting from a pointed object, and the flames are reflected in that object, the cabochon. It was a lot of fun to make and I enjoyed every minute of putting it together. Someone who likes a piece of spectacular jewellery but doesn't want it to be too huge a piece will find this an ideal necklace.
What d'you think, then? If you had told me a few years ago that I would be making necklaces with tiny seed beads, I'd have laughed. I remember approaching soutache so gingerly - I was totally psyched out that I even had plans to go in that direction. Now, however, I can see that the sky's the limit - all I have to do is come up with a story and I can set about thinking about how to convert it into a piece of jewellery.
That's all I've had time for this week, folks. We have been trying to get back to some semblance of 'normal' at work, and are trying to catch up with the patients waiting patiently for their operations. I can tell you that it is most uncomfortable working in PPE - my glasses kept riding up over the mask, and soon my eyebrows had the full benefit of sight, but unfortunately, I didn't. On one occasion I forgot to put my glasses on before the visor, and nearly had an eye out when I tried to put them on. People have difficulty hearing one another through all these layers, and commands have to be repeated over and over, which can become quite irritating when one is all hot and sweaty.
OK, rant over, and many thanks for listening to it. After all I'm in the same boat as all my colleagues, so we just have to get on with it.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello good people, wherever you are, how're you holding up?? It's raining cats and dogs (as usual) and the lovely weather we had in May seems to have gone away forever. The weather men promise that warmth and sunshine will be back in July, so that leaves 18 days to wait. Oh well, at least the gardens are getting a much needed drenching.
I was sitting indoors, minding my own business last weekend when I heard a massive thunder clap, and lo and behold! there was a hail storm, the likes of which I haven't seen in ages. I was really upset because one of our peonies had just come out that morning and I hadn't had a chance to go out and stake it, but it lived on to tell the tale, a bit battered, but still upright and very much alive.
I've found that through the last six weeks of lock-down I've been steadily putting on weight and trying to halt it has been nigh on impossible. I read somewhere that to get motivation to lose weight I had to try eating in front of a mirror, naked. All that accomplished was that I frightened the cat, the husband keened in distress and I put my clothes back again in a hurry. Back to the drawing board, then.
I discussed this with my mother, who watches her weight at the age of 92 and she advised me to cook my own food and I'd lose weight perforce - who's she kidding?? She lives in India and has a cook bring her meals to her on a tray - I've always had to cook my own meals, so that isn't the way forward. If any of you good people reading this have any suggestions, do feel free to weigh in - I'll try almost anything, as you've read earlier!!
And so, to the Creative Hope Jewelry Project - my piece, Hope Springs Eternal made Honorable Mention and I'm due to receive a few items of silver and other components in the post shortly.
Holly Gage, the organiser said that it was a closely run contest and it took the organisers ages to sort out duplicate votes and comments and eventually the winners were named.
I have to say that I wasn't watching the turtle as I considered the phoenix box made by Rae Evans to be beautiful - but what's that they say about tortoises - slow and steady etc etc??
Thank you very much to all of you who voted for me and even more if you convinced friends and family to cast a vote. Some people got so enthusiastic that they voted for everyone, without understanding the process and therefore their votes were disqualified, and others voted for the entire album of submissions - in their defence the rules weren't explicit and I should have made them clearer. It's always a bit awkward though, to beg for votes, and I think people shouldn't really feel pressured into voting for me - I requested people to go and look at the exhibition and to vote for me if they liked my piece.
Last week, I showed you five days of work in progress with my new piece. The whole piece is built around a particularly beautiful dichroic glass cabochon I bought ages ago. I recently decided that I was no longer going to play with enamels and wanted rid of my little collection of powders and trivets and found it while I was clearing up the space recently vacated by these items. Let me show you how I've progressed from last week. It isn't completed yet - I've got a pain in my wrist from gripping the tiny needle which at the end is totally bent out of shape from the pressure applied to push it through.
I will spend another evening putting a chain or string of beads on the back and it will be all ready for photographing to be in next weeks' blog post. I apologise for the quality of these pictures, they were taken at the end of each evening before I put the beads away and went to bed. The final photographs will be up to scratch, I promise. The piece has about 150 grams of beads and crystals as well as the dichroic glass cabochon, so it is not heavy. I'm sure that it will be well loved when it gets to its forever home.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week and I'll catch up with you next Friday, same time, same place.
Until then, wear your mask when you're out and about, and be very careful, we aren't over it yet.
Hello folks, did you enjoy the spring interlude with loads of sunshine? It's all gone away now, and we're back to dreary old Britain, but I haven't lost hope that the sun will be back. I hope you're all working from home busily and making the best of the situation.
I'm missing having people around, cooking for friends, barbeques in the sunshine - I didn't know that I would hanker for these as I'm a fairly quiet person - gimme a few beads and I'm happy to spend a weekend playing with them. I guess you want the stuff that someone else tells you that you cannot have.
The weather has played ball through May and I hope it will continue and as soon as I'm able, I shall have a party, all of you are invited!!
The Creative Hope Jewelry Project
The Creative Hope Jewelry Project, set up by Holly Gage, a Metal Clay Artist par excellence, was designed to be an uplifting expression of hope during a time of unrest during the world Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020, and Stay at Home orders. Meant to serve as a source of inspiration for the creators and viewers of the Creative Hope Jewelry Project Challenge and Virtual Exhibit, it called for jewellery makers of all genres to exhibit virtually on their platform.
Holly said "From a historical perspective, jewelry expresses the activities, social movements, and events of the time. If you take a deeper look, you will notice there are underlining statements, cues and messages telling us about what was happening during that time period. This exhibit serves to allow artists to express their feelings, thoughts and hopes during a time of sacrifice and challenge all around us during the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.
This Virtual Exhibit is intended to be far reaching to inspire many, therefore PR distribution will be to social and media outlets across many platforms.
The challenge awards will be determined by popular community vote looking for artworks demonstrating a high degree of:
I decided to make a piece of jewellery especially for the contest, and once it was finished and sold, to donate the proceeds to the NHS. The necklace was called Hope Springs Eternal and you saw it first on these pages. It was snapped up by a lady in the USA and she was delighted with it - I've posted her feedback, which warmed the cockles of my heart. By the way, if anyone knows what the cockles of the heart are, do let me know - I haven't a clue, but it sounds good.
I submitted my piece into the intermediate category as I have only been beading for the last couple of years and am by no means an expert.
The contest is open to voters till the end of the day on 5/6/2020, so if any of you are reading this and fancy putting a quick 'like' on my piece should you be so inclined, you will find it here. Holly has spent some time making a video compilation of the pieces in each category and here it is.
I decided I wanted to make another piece that sits close to the neck. I found a dichroic glass cabochon and I just loved the markings on it - it reminds me of fire or molten lava. The cabochon is not smooth, but has a slightly irregular surface and is all the more interesting for it. I decided to make a torch of flames shooting from the cabochon. I have an idea where I'm going, and I'll tell you more about it next week.
I apologise for the quality of the pictures, but I just snap a quick shot of the piece at the end of each day with my phone before I go to bed. At the end of Day 5 I have a clear idea of how I want this piece to look at the end. Now all I've got to do is to fill the rest of the space that is just now blank - I've finished putting in the flames and the other side will be entirely different. You'll just have to come back next week to take a look if my design idea has worked out.
That's me done for this week, folks. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Folks in the ether reading this, welcome to the Caprilicious Blog.
It's lovely to make contact with you again. The weather has been wonderful here in the UK and it is so nice and warm and sunny I almost feel the need to hold my breath in case it's a mirage and disappears, replaced by drab, drab drab!
I hope you are all doing well and not finding spurious reasons to drive to the nearest beauty spot - remember, if you find that you're going blind, that is certainly not the time to put your wife and child in a car and take them for a drive - unless you're in a black comedy kinda life! (For those who are reading this from outside the UK, this is an insider joke and you can read about it and join in the laughter if you Google the words Dominic Cummings and Barnard Castle.)
Last week I was just putting in the eye in my Hamsa as I wrote the blog post, and I told you all about its symbolism. Since then I put in some colourful beadwork around the eye, and a lotus above it. The lotus symbolises spiritual enlightenment and rebirth. Much is made of the fact that the plant grows in murky water, and yet gives forth a beautiful flower. The Secret Meaning of the Lotus Flower tells us more about this issue. Crystal and beaded fingernails, paisley and chevron patterns were added, the Hamsa padded out with felt, backed with ultra suede and edged. And then, all of a sudden it was finished!
I almost felt a sense of loss when the last bead was put in, as if an old friend had left and gone away. I would have to perforce, put it away - and eventually send it to a good home.
Eye Protect - a Hamsa Necklace
And then, how to hang it? One lady suggested citrine and pyrite - 'for prosperity,' she said. However, I decided that this was a playful piece and deserved a playful, colourful necklace to carry it. Frosted amethyst beads that appear like blue grapes with a bloom on them and are very pleasing to touch - they have a soft rasp to them - contrasting shiny carnelian rice beads and a couple of hand made fire polished Czech glass beads that I ran up - the packet of glowing, purple glass beads had been sitting on my work surface for the whole time and I thought it would be rude not to include them.
A protective amulet then, in difficult times. The amethyst is thought to bring peace of mind and calm and the carnelian brings vitality, warmth of spirit and prevents illness.
Fin! Finito! Well not quite, as the necklace still had to be photographed, the pictures edited, a blurb written and the whole thing posted on the website. And since then, I've sat out in the sunshine with the hubby and the cat, doing absolutely nothing during the Bank Holiday weekend. 'Hope Springs Eternal' was sold to a lady from Maryland a couple of days ago, and will be on its way later today.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a lovely week in the sun and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.